Last weekend saw two South East cycling circuits host the latest round of the British Cycling National Youth Circuit Series, The London Youth Tour. After some great racing efforts and results throughout the season 9 PPYCC riders were awarded a starting place – Dylan, Josh G, Luke u14s and Adam, Freddie, Lukas, James, Josh B and Rahul u16s. Unfortunately, Josh G was unable to start due to an injury from a crash in the last National Series round at Hillingdon last month and we hope to see him back on his bike soon.
The racing was hosted at Redbridge circuit on Saturday with a Prologue of the full circuit in the morning followed by a circuit race in the afternoon. Sunday’s racing was at Cyclopark where a short circuit race in the morning was followed by a long circuit race in the afternoon. Both fields were capacity with 76 riders in the u14s and 98 riders in the u16s.
Temperatures were already soaring on Saturday morning when the riders warmed up on the rollers for the prologue and it was clear from the off that Saturday was going to be very tough in the heat. All the boys gave it maximum effort during Prologue on the technical and hilly finish and then cooled down and recovered whilst awaiting the start of their circuit races which everyone knew was going to be very tough.
U14s race was 1hour and the pace quickly built over the first few laps with attacks on the Hoggenburg. The high pace and attacks on the climb continued and after 40 mins Luke lost contact with the front bunch but continued to chase at a good pace with 2 other riders. Dylan remained well placed in the main bunch and moved up on the final lap finishing 14th in the uphill sprint. Luke finished well a couple of mins down. The race had been very tough in the heat with all the riders looking dazed and in need to cold drinks and shade when they finished.
The final race of the day was the u16 boys which was schedule for 1hr20mins. The boys all set off well placed but the pace was high with many riders losing contact quickly. As the race progressed the heat, pace and parcours took it’s toll as half the field was dropped from the leading pack. Freddie and Lukas did a great job of hanging in there with Lukas finishing 15th and Freddie 36th. Drink, food and sleep were needed to recover for another tough day of racing in the heat at the technical Cyclopark circuit on Sunday !
Sunday was as hot and sunny as expected but with a welcome breeze. It was great to meet a legend of the classics , Magnus Backstedt, who was at the race supporting his daughter and the Backstedt Hot Chillie racing team.
The 3rd stage was a short ‘sprint’ circuit race for all age categories and all races were a very fast pace from the off with many riders fatigued from the previous day being distanced in the first lap. Luke and Dylan hung in there with Dylan finishing strongly in the sprint and Luke hanging to the back of the front group.
In the u16s James was unfortunately brought down in a crash but climbed back on and raced on to the finish. Rahul just lost contact on the last lap whilst all our other riders finished in the main group, with Lukas placing 20th.
3 down and 1 to go ! Recovery, and cooling down we’re the prority with another long circuit race in the heat of the afternoon there were riders sleeping, cooling off in cafes and generally relaxing as much as possible in the shade. The efforts from the first 3 stages were taking their toll with some riders suffering fatigue and not signing on for the final stage.
Luke and Dylan took to the start for their final 50min race and the pace was high from the start after Josh Tarling, a renowned powerful TT’er attacked on the first lap and opened a gap he was to impressively extend and take both the stage and overall Tour win. Dylan was well placed in the lead group and Luke fought hard to stay in the group for the whole race. Another good sprint finish from Dylan who is getting back to his best after dislocating his knee in April. Luke just lost contact with the front group with less than 1/2 lap to go due a mechanical with his gears but was given the same finishing time.
The U16s race equally set off at a brutal pace with attacks coming thick and fast with a 2 man break finally sticking but forcing a fast chasing pace. Tired legs and the heat thinned down the front group quickly but Freddie, Lukas and Josh managed stay there. Rahul, still recovering from a chest infection and James struggled carrying injury from his crash in the previous stage finished in chasing groups.
Final GC results, Dylan 26th & Luke 41st after 2 1/4 hrs racing. Freddie 34th, Lukas 35th, Adam 46th, Josh 47th, Rahul 76th, James 85th after almost 3hrs of racing.
There was equally great racing in the girls u14 and u16 events and it would be wonderful to see some of our female riders competing next year in Regional and National events. If you’re interested and would like to talk about competing in races please just ask our coaches for advice.
The London Youth Tour was a great but very tough event, made more challenging by the hot conditions. None of our riders have experienced racing 4 stages in 2 days so it was unknown territory for all and they all did fantastically well to complete the event…. as did the parents , well done us !!
There are more big events to come over the next few weeks with riders competing in the National Championships in Scarborough next weekend , International Belgian Youth Tour and European Youth Tour Assen. Good luck to all our riders in upcoming events.